World's most expensive smoke, but is it the best?
The Cuban havanas from the Cohiba brand are so precious that no one has actually lit one yet. Although the blend was tested by a group of tasters before the cigar went into hand-made production, according to Norma Fernandez, the "torcedora" or cigar-roller from the El Laguito factory in Havana.
The cigar was launched in Spain on Thursday by Altadis (ALT.MC: Quote, Profile, Research), the exclusive importer of Cuban cigars into Spain.
When they say "hand-made", they mean it. In this case there were only two hands involved and they both belong to Norma -- she rolled all 4,000 cigars in the strictly limited edition -- a labour of love.
"I've been doing this for 39 years but I still love it," said Norma who admits to smoking cigarettes and the odd Cohiba panatella and was selected from the senior rollers for this special task.
Fernandez also had the honour of deciding on the tobacco blend to be used which was designed to honour 40 years of the Cohiba brand, being true to the house style but giving this cigar a special touch.
"But I'm not going to reveal the formula," she told reporters.
The Cohiba "Behike", named after a tribal chief of Cuba's indigenous Taino tribe, can only be bought in special humidors -- $18,860 for the 40 cigars.
A lot of money. But maybe not for someone who can appreciate this delicate blend of the world's most selected tobacco leaves. Either way, just like the cheapest old stogie, it'll be up in smoke.